The Timber Rattlers (65-45 overall, 21-20 second half) jumped on Beloit starting pitcher Jason Wheeler right away. Brandon Macias singled to start the game and Carlos George bunted for a hit. Greg Hopkins, the third hitter of the game, singled to right to drive in Macias and get George to third base. Nick Ramirez grounded into a double play that allowed George to score the second run of the inning.
Wheeler would strike out ten and allow three more hits over eight innings, but he was never in a position to pick up his thirteenth win of the year.
Beloit (58-53, 19-22) got a run back in the bottom of the second inning. Kennys Vargas hit a solo homer with one out to make the score 2-1.
Miller walked the tightrope for the rest of his six innings of work. He pitched around a leadoff double and a pair of walks in the third inning. In the fourth, Beloit put two runners on base with one out on a walk and a single. Both were left stranded. In the sixth inning, Miguel Sano doubled with one out. Miller retired the next two batters on a fly ball and a grounder to maintain the 2-1 lead.
Stephen Peterson relieved Miller to start the seventh inning and walked the first batter he faced. The next batter dropped a sacrifice bunt and Peterson got the out at first, but was injured on the play and had to leave the game.
Michael Strong would throw a wild pitch to move the tying run to third base, but got a strikeout and a liner to second to end the seventh.
Strong came back out to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning and got the first out. A single by Eddie Rosario put the tying run on first base and with the right-handed Sano and switch-hitting Vargas due up, the Rattlers went to right-handed reliever Stosh Wawrzasek.
Wawrzasek struck out Sano, who leads the Midwest League in homers with 21 and RBI with 83, for the second out of the inning. Wawrzasek struck out Vargas to end the eighth and strand the tying run at first.
Wawrzasek worked a perfect ninth inning - with a pair of strikeouts - to close out the Snappers and earn his second save of the season.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon at Pohlman Field. Chad Pierce (5-3, 3.35) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. David Hurlbut (4-5, 2.78) is set to start for the Snappers. Game time is 2:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 1:40pm.
Kennys Vargas (7th, 0 on in 2nd inning off Matt Miller, 1 out)
WP: Matt Miller (10-7)
LP: Jason Wheeler (12-5)
SAVE: Stosh Wawrzasek (2)